How to Wax Your Snowboard at Home
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What up shredder?
It’s Christian from shred school
Waxing your snowboard is a lot like making love to a woman, you have to be gentle some of the time, rough some of the time, and I only do it very occasionally.
Can’t keep up with your friends wondering why you’re slower than everyone else?
Not clearing jumps?
Getting stuck on cat tracks or in the flats?
Base is dried out?
You need to wax your snowboard! Don’t neglect your baby.
When you Wax your snowboard can be a very intimate experience. You form a special bond with your snowboard.
If the whole bonding with your snowboard is a little too much for you, Some people say that waxing your own board is therapeutic.
Anyway you look at it, I like waxing my own snowboard, and I think you will too.
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Snowboard Maintenance Equipment and Snowboard Waxxing Supplies
Anyway you look at it, I like waxing my own snowboard, and I think you will too.
Before we get into how to do it, you have to understand a little more about how waxing a snowboard works.
Snowboards are made from a porous material called Polyethylene, and , the wax is absorbed into the board itself helping it to slide across the snow.
In other words, the wax isn’t just sitting on top of the board, it actually absorbs into your base. This will be important to know later.
So before we get started, there are some prerequisites…
You need a couple items to wax your board successfully.
1. Iron 2. wax 3. brush 4. scraper 5. screwdriver
Can you use a clothing iron to wax your snowboard?
Now, this is not a clothing iron. Unfortunately we don’t want to use a clothes iron with holes in the base, we want a snowboard iron that has a flat base with no holes.
Where can you buy the best snowboard waxing iron?
You can buy a waxing iron on amazon, or at your local board shop.
Can you use a candle to wax your snowboard?
We also don’t want to use one of our mom’s old candles as wax, or skateboard wax, we want actual snowboard wax.
Now, snowboard wax is formulated for temperature.
In general, the warmer the weather, the softer the wax you want to use. When you scrape your fingernail on the wax it comes off very easily.
The colder the weather the harder the wax. It’s very hard to scrape off.
How to Prepare Your Snowboard for Waxxing
Once we have our supplies we want to Warm up the board to room temperature, so if you just got home from the mountain, let your board sit in a warm room for a couple of hours. Once it’s acclimated, it’s time to heat up the iron – shouldn’t be smoking
Do you have to take your bindings off to wax your snowboard?
Some people insist on taking off their bindings before waxing but I don't do it and I've never had a problem. There are claims that heating up the board loosens your bindings, so we have a screwdriver on hand to tighten them up afterward.
Now, if the base of your board is extremely dirty, you may want to use some base cleaner Spray to clean your base before waxing. This will be more necessary in spring time riding and if you live on the east coast.
I used to do this all the time but haven’t used it once since moving to Colorado.
If you have lots of uneven old wax on your board, you can give it a quick scrape, but if your base is dried out, you probably don’t need to do anything else.
So we’ve got your room-temperature board upside down on a flat surface, ideally one where no one will mind us making a mess.
How to Wax Your Snowboard
We’ve got an iron that’s HEATED up and wax that’s appropriate for the temperature outside.
It’s time to Pour wax all over and then scrape it off.
I like to start at the nose, and hold the iron vertical while pressing the wax up against the iron. The wax will start to drip on to the board while you move the iron.
The goal is to cover the board in enough wax that once we press the iron into the board, there is enough wax to cover the entire surface. You can drip all along the edges and then fill in the middle, or you can zig zag across the whole board.
The key here is don’t avoid the dges, as they tend to dry out the most, make sure you drip wax all the way up to your edge.
Now that your board is covered in wax, you can set down the wax block. We’re going to take the iron and press it into the board, and slowly “massage” the wax into the board. As the base of the board heats up, the wax will start to absorb into the board.
You should be able to visibly see the difference between a spot on the board that has absorbed wax and a spot that you missed.
Cover the whole board from nose to tail, making sure to push wax the whole way out to the edge.
Generally, we want to wax a certain spot on the board until we can feel warmth on the underside of the board. This means we’ve heated up the base enough to absorb the wax.
If you run out of available wax in any one section, pick up the wax and add more. It’s better to err on the side of too much wax than too little.
It’s very important that you do not leave the iron sitting in the same spot too long, or your base will bubble up. Don’t leave the hot iron on the board and walk away.
If it looks like you’ve covered the whole board, it’s time to let the wax cool. Go watch a snowboard video for 20 minutes and come back to scrape.
How to Scrape Wax Off of Your Snowboard
OK, now we’re going to scrape off all the wax we just laid down. Remember that our base absorbs everything we need, so by scraping off the wax, we're just getting rid of the excess. We’re not undoing what we just did.
Start at the nose, hold the scraper at a steep angle, and press HARD into the board. You can’t scrape too much wax off, so we’re going to get everything.
Scrape from nose to tail starting on one side of the board and ending on the other. If your board looks uneven, you didn’t do a good enough job. It should be a level surface .
We’re also going to take the small indent in the corner of our scraper and scrape the whole way around our edges to remove excess wax.
Polishing Your Snowboard
Next, we’re going to use a finishing brush to smooth out the base. It’s not a huge deal if you don’t own a brush, but if you do have access, it’s nice to finish it off.
Here we’re using a half steel, half horse hair brush. Starting with the steel, we’re pushing down into the board, and ending with the softer side of the brush, the whole way down the board.
Admire that sexy base, make sure your bindings are tightened and let’s go to the mountain. I love riding my snowboard after a fresh wax.
Done is better than perfect, don’t worry about doing everything perfectly here.
Now, you could just take your board into the shop and avoid all this, but after getting a “machine” wax, where they run your board over a waxing machine, you often can’t even tell they waxed it. It can be pretty worthless compared to a hand wax.
Commonly Asked Questions About How to DIY Wax Your Snowboard
Some commonly asked questions:
Can you melt the old wax and use it for next time? I don’t recommend it but I definitely have done it in a pinch or to fill in some spots.
How often do you wax? Every 3-4 days of riding
Every day before a competition
Now some people will say, I’ve had my board for 3 years and didn’t wax it once and it was still super fast – i wouldn’t listen to these people
Do they come waxed if I buy online like the house.com? Yes, this is called a “Factory wax”
SO that’s it, how to take care of your baby, how to wax your snowboard. It’s super easy, anyone can do it. Just don’t worry about being perfect.
Remember, use an actual snowboard iron and snowboard wax. Melt the wax on to your board, iron it into the base, let it cool, scrape off the extra wax and brush it. Make sure you hit the entire base, and get ready to fly out on the slope and burn past your friends.
Remember, if you take care of your snowboard, it will take care of you…
Peace out shredder.
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